Advances in ab-initio theory of multiferroics
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- Picozzi, S. & Stroppa, A. Eur. Phys. J. B (2012) 85: 240. doi:10.1140/epjb/e2012-30124-1
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Within the broad class of multiferroics (compounds showing a coexistence of magnetism and ferroelectricity), we focus on the subclass of “improper electronic ferroelectrics”, i.e. correlated materials where electronic degrees of freedom (such as spin, charge or orbital) drive ferroelectricity. In particular, in spin-induced ferroelectrics, there is not only a coexistence of the two intriguing magnetic and dipolar orders; rather, there is such an intimate link that one drives the other, suggesting a giant magnetoelectric coupling. Via first-principles approaches based on density functional theory, we review the microscopic mechanisms at the basis of multiferroicity in several compounds, ranging from transition metal oxides to organic multiferroics to organic-inorganic hybrids.